The World Cup champion United States women’s national team now has another few dozen people in its corner.
Three days after after a federal judge sided with the U.S. Soccer Federation and against members of the USWNT, ruling that the players’ claims of unequal pay compared to their male counterparts weren’t legally persuasive enough to warrant a trial, the U.S. men’s national team released a statement in which it pledged its full support of the women.
“The USMNT players continue to stand with the WNT players in their efforts to secure equal pay,” read the statement by U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association, the union that represents the USMNT.
“For a year and a half, the USMNT players have made proposals to the federation that would achieve equal pay for the USMNT and USWNT players.
“We understand the WNT players plan to appeal last week’s decision,” the statement continued. “We support them.”
They’re hardly alone. On Saturday, presumptive democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also publicly backed the USWNT. “Equal pay, now. Or else when I’m president, you can go elsewhere for World Cup funding,” Biden wrote on Twitter, apparently alluding to the 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be jointly hosted by the Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
This isn’t the first time the USMNT has come out in support of the women. In February, the men’s union released a rambling missive in which it blasted U.S. Soccer for its historic treatment of both teams, although some questioned their motives at the time. The U.S. men have been playing without a collective bargaining agreement for more than a year, and any gains made by the women would surely bolster their own arguments for increases in compensation and benefits.
A few individual male players had said the right things before that, although they tended to tread carefully, without getting into the specifics of an issue that is more complex than meets the eye.
The USWNT has vowed to appeal the court’s decision. Earlier Monday, during an appearance on “Good Morning America”, stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe said they were "shocked" by the ruling, and insisted that they’ll continue the fight.
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